Thursday, November 5, 2009

Last post for now

30 August

We were put in three groups and did a photo rally. It was lots of fun even though our team came last by quite a bit, and we all met at the speed wall while the speed finals were on. Lots of people were still swapping tops and I swapped all my tops!

31 August

We took a train to Paris and were in first class seats. We then flew back home with a 12 hour stop in Singapore airport.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Here are some photos I took on the trip: our apartment in Switzerland, a view from the train going to Austria, and Wiz climbing in the competition.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

World Youth Champs comp

27 August

Comp Day 1

We caught a bus to the wall. Me, Damon and James were early, because I was first up and Damon second, but they changed the order later and I was 53rd up. My number was 393.

"Everybody climbed well," that's what James said, but my climb wasn't so good in my opinion; I cut loose and swung off because I didn't think. In the afternoon we, all the teams, went on a parade across town from the climbing wall to the speed wall.

28 August

Comp Day 2

We went to the wall again and climbed. My second climb was better than my first. In the afternoon to evening we did speeds. There were two different routes on the speed wall: one was the official speed route with extra speed holds added in and the other route was new. My grade was the last grade to do speeds and it was lots of fun.

29 August

We went to the wall and watched the semi finals, and I bought some climbing holds. Then we went around shopping and after that we were given five Euros each for dinner. I bought some carrots, a cucumber and a can of fruit salad. I ate some of the carrots and ate the cucumber, but I couldn't open the fruit salad so I had to eat it the next day. After dinner we watched the finals and some of us swapped tops with other climbers, but nobody I ask wanted to or could swap :(

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Imst to Valence

21 August

We, Youth B, made lunch for the Youth A's and Claire, and then we went and watched the climbing in the IFSC Kletter Weltcup. The climbing was cool to watch and our guys climbed well.

22 August

Watched the semi-finals in the morning and the finals in the evening. I thought the presentation of the finalists was weird and it was fun to watch Adam Ondra top.

23 August

We went on a bush walk to a place where there was an alpine coster; you went up on a gondola thing and down on the luge track. Apart from slow people it was lots of fun.

24 August

We caught trains to Bern, Switzerland, and went climbing in the evening.

25 August

We took a train to Geneva, walked into France, and took a train to Valence.

26 August

We did lots of stuff and this is not in order:

We met the Australian and Equadorian teams and played frizby with them and Wiz's cousin Jamie. We went to Valence2, the mall, and then went to the supermarket to stock up. We also wrote our pre-comp plans and took photos of me and Wiz in dresses at the mall. This was so that James would give us pain au chocolat. I didn't get one though because I'm vegan.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Milandia and zoo

15 August

We went to Milandia and did competition onsight/flash practice, and we had to get our warm up routine sorted.

16 August

I wrote the team diary.

17 August

We got Euros turned into Swiss Franks so we could go to the zoo, and we had money left over to spend on things.

18 August

Went to Gaswerk again and did packing etc.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

13-14 August

13 August

After breakfast we guessed what we would do tomorrow, one guess each and if one of us got it right we all got ice creams. We guessed in reverse number order:
No. 1 Claire
No. 2 Sarah
No. 3 Damon
No. 4 Mark
No. 5 Rowan
No. 6 Jesse
No. 7 Speedy
No. 8 Olivia
No. 9 Irmak
No. 10 Emily
No. 11 Josiah
No. 12 Charlotte
No. 13 Wiz

We got some clues, and Claire guessed correct. So the next day we got ice creams.

At Gaswerk we did hard climbing and my hands hurt from the day before. We also had to work out our warm up.

14 August

We went to the Mammut factory and got a tour of the factory, the different steps of making ropes and other stuff. At the end we each got given a Mammut mammoth and it was lots of fun.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


11 August

On the next flight I attempted to sleep. Then I did some more stuff on the computer and had breakfast.

When we got to Zürich Jesse's luggage didn't come so it had to be sent to us. We met Emma and Rob at the airport, and we ate breakfast again. We then caught a train to Oerlikon.

When we got to our apartments we sorted out who shared a room with who, me and Rob in our apartment, and after that we went to the supermarket. We then ate lunch at a small bit of grass, and we then played games afterwards. After that we went back to our apartments and made dinner.

12 August

We went to Gaswerk, where you're not allowed loose chalk or bare feet, and on the way there we caught two trains and then did a lot of walking. I touched a poisenous plant with my hand on the walk and it really hurt. Gaswerk is so humongous it makes HangDog look like a home boulder wall. We then did some pumpy leading and bouldering and I got a B5 on the outdoor boulder wall. One of the boulder rooms had a 45° angle boulder mat so you could do really high and long problems and everyone thought my yells were funny.

Monday, September 7, 2009

My journal starts

I had a good time on the trip, competing, training and doing other stuff. My journal of the trip will be posted here in instalments over the next few days ...

10 August

At the Airport my bag weighed just under 18 kg and nearly everyone was early to arrive at our meeting spot. When James arrived we got given a box with our uniforms in it and we had to sort out who got what: a pair of TOTA shorts, a singlet, a t-shirt and a long sleeve top each. We put stickers on our passports so we knew whose was whose, but Wiz's passport was red though. I played hacky with some of the others while we waited to board our flight.

On the plane I watched a few movies, monitored our progress, played games and watched TV programmes, all on the computer in front of me.

Singapore Airport is humongous! We went to a butterfly place where they had lots of big, colourful butterflies and I saw a small lizard. We went on the free Internet and I sent an email home. We then played bungy tug of war hoop shooting on a bouncy castle. Me and Charlotte put on harnesses which were attached by a bungy through a hole in a blow-up wall, and we had to run in opposite directions and get beach balls in a hoop. It was lots of fun, and we got given medals and a $10 voucher for anywhere in the airport. After spending the voucher we played knucklebones until our next flight.

Sunday, August 30, 2009


The 2009 Climbing World Youth Championship is nearly over, just speed climbing finals to go. Watching the live coverage, we saw quite a few of the New Zealanders climbing, including part of Josiah's second climb. We thought they all looked relaxed and focussed, climbing well. Emily and Sarah each topped their first climb! We haven't heard from Josiah how he found it all.

Difficulty and speed results for the New Zealand team are below. The difficulty category is their priority: they enter the speed competition just for fun and the extra experience.

Youth B Male (Under 16)

Difficulty: 73 competitors

Wiz 44th
Josiah 59th
Speed: 41 competitors

Josiah 34th
Wiz 36th

Youth B Female (Under 16)

Difficulty: 67 competitors

Emily 32nd
Irmak 48th
Charlotte 58th
Rowan 60th
Speed: 39 competitors

Emily 19th
Charlotte 31st
Irmak 32nd
Rowan fell

Youth A Male (Under 18)

Difficulty: 81 competitors

Mark 46th
Jesse 51st
Damon 60th
Speed: 47 competitors

Damon 30th
Mark 31st
Jesse 39th

Youth A Female (Under 18)

Difficulty: 69 competitors

Sarah 33rd
Amanda 49th
Olivia 52nd
Speed: 44 competitors

Olivia 39th
Amanda 43rd
Sarah fell

Junior Female (Under 20)

Difficulty: 45 competitors

Claire 38th
Speed: 27 competitors

Claire 20th

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Competition starts!

The Climbing World Youth Championship starts today, Thursday! There is live coverage of the competition at Mineral Spirit beginning at 9am local time (CET/UTC + 2), 7pm in NZ. Climbing in all lead categories is due to begin at 10.30am (8.30pm in NZ).

There are 713 competitors in total, 75 in Josiah's category (Youth B Male - born 1994 or 1995). Josiah has texted us to say he is up first! But the IFSC has him starting 53rd in his category so not sure which is correct.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Below is video evidence that Josiah is alive and well in Switzerland (yay!). And eating sugar, enthusiastically, which surprised us: Josiah is usually highly mistrustful of sugar. This time, however, to earn a share of some leftover iceblocks, he was willing to ...

Day 7 of the Team Diary is also a video ...

For more videos from the team, visit Climbing NZ's You Tube page.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Team Diary

A Team Diary has been started at the Climbing NZ website and quotes of the day from the team are being posted to Climbing NZ's Facebook page.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The team is away

It was great to see the team off from Auckland Airport on Monday morning. All were bubbly and excited; the uniforms looked very smart. It's nice that there are some in the team who have been on long overseas trips before and can help the others with unfamiliar tasks like filling out departure cards. They were all looking after each other well.

James, the coach and supervisor, exuded calm and confidence, which was exactly what was needed (what I needed, anyway). He told the team that he is not their mother, or their father, and expects them to take care of their own belongings. Even in the short time before going through to the departure area, there was evidence that this was little more than a vain hope on James's part: James had to repeat his instructions about what to do with their two boarding passes, luggage labels and passports half a dozen times at least, and in the process sounded just like a parent!

Josiah was keen to be off and very happy.

We have had first contact: an email posted from Singapore Airport, where the team had a six hour stop:

I am in Singapore now. I enjoyed the flight here and watched mov[i]es on the plan[e].

The team is back in the air now en route to Zurich, Switzerland, where they will spend their first week, training at the impressive Kletterzentrum gyms.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

What's happening

In just over a week, Josiah and the rest of the New Zealand Youth Climbing Team will be departing for Europe to attend the Climbing World Youth Championship in Valence, France. Josiah and I will be posting here to keep you updated on the trip. Posts are likely to be brief and scarce while Josiah is away as opportunities to write home will be infrequent (and perhaps unlikely to be taken full advantage of by a fourteen year old immersed in his first visit to the other side of the world). But Josiah will be keeping a journal as part of the one-and-a-half hours of school work the kids are required to do daily on the trip, and we intend to post some of that here as soon as he returns.

Josiah's preparations are well underway; he has been training hard, climbing, jogging and stretching. We have been familiarising ourselves such varied topics as hand luggage restrictions on international flights, drug tests at sporting events and the World Anti-Doping Agency prohibited list, European geography, the IFSC rules in force at the World Youth Championship, and the options available to a fourteen year old for carrying money to spend in a foreign country. Josiah and Tessa have had fun finding useful and not-at-all-useful phrases in a French phrase book. Useful: Je suis végétalien (I am vegan). Not useful: Veux-tu m'épouser? (Will you marry me?).

Josiah says:

I am feeling excited about the trip.

I am looking forward to competing, seeing really good climbers climb and experiencing the different holds, routes and walls. It will be cool training with the others in the team because I haven't climbed much with any of them except in the competitions.